Monday, May 2, 2016

KOA IN ALBUQUERQUE

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 34 Partly Sunny Currently 40)
Heading to Tucumcari NM (Currently 35 Clouds and Sun High 65)

With KOAs there is always a tradeoff. A KOA is usually more expensive but they usually are very conveniently located. This is the case with the Albuquerque KOA. In fact it was in an ideal location for what we wanted to accomplish this week. Our foodie spots Sadies and La Salita are very close as is the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. Add to that Costco, Sam's Club, Wal-Mart and an Albertsons grocery store are nearby to make this one of the better situated parks we have stayed at.

Here is our Lifestyle RV from the front



To the right



To the left



From the side showing the roof mounted satellite dish



Although we are very close to Interstate 40 there is a wall that does a great job cutting down on the noise. The park is nicely kept up, the streets and sites are paved and wide for easy in/out access. All in all a very nice park and worth it to us.

This may be our new go to spot while staying in Albuquerque, although we will be at the International Balloon Fiesta field in October during our next visit.

We are leaving today for Tucumcari New Mexico, trying to dodge storms and bad weather as we continue our trek back to the Kansas City area. As you can see it is going to be cold during our outdoor departure ritual.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, May 1, 2016

WE SURVIVED A WINDSTORM

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 36 Cloudy and Windy High 51)

The approaching storm provided some interesting photos from the truck after we had gone to Mass and then picked up our takeout from Sadie's.




There was a lot of wind overnight and some rain. The cold front really brought in the wind. The forecast and warnings called for wind with gusts up to 75 mph. This is one of the times when living fulltime in an RV can be challenging. Bob put everything away outside yesterday and before we went to bed he put the batwing TV antenna and the DirecTV dish down.

This is the most wind we have seen in our 6 and a half years of living fulltime in our RV. Although we rocked pretty good a few times we were remarkably stable with that amount of wind. Bob did a walkaround this morning and everything looked OK outside although with temperatures and winds both in the 30s it was a little chilly. One thing that happened during this weather event is that we had our fantastic fan on high, we have vent covers so we can run the fans, but the wind was so strong that you could feel a breeze coming into the RV instead of going out.

Always an adventure that is for sure. We 'plan' on heading to Tucumcari New Mexico tomorrow.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, April 30, 2016

MORE WEATHER DELAYS AND A UNIQUE PICTURE FRAME

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 42 Cloudy, Rainy, Windy High 62) 

Another weather delay (sorry Deb), this time due to rain and some wind. We got up this morning and looked at the weather here and in Tucumcari, our next stop in New Mexico, and there were warnings and alerts with potential gusts of 60 mph. That caught our attention and we paid for another night and delayed our departure until Monday. We could have left today but our deciding factors were that we already paid for tonight plus it would mean 4 nights in Tucumcari. We opted for 2 nights instead.

Living in the Midwest for many years we know that weather forecasting is fickle at best. We were still surprised though when we started this blog entry later in the day. No more high wind alerts, although the gusts were now 40 mph. The potential for rain is still there and Monday looks like a better travel day, RIGHT NOW, so we are still happy with our decision to delay.

When we paid for the extra day as part of our walk Jo found this unique picture frame and you just knew we had to have it.



We will blog later when we have added the photos, we are thinking a picture of our cats will go into the one in the bedroom where the tree photo is since that is where they stay while we travel.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, April 29, 2016

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND HISTORY IN ALBUQUERQUE

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 38 Showers and Wind High 62) 

We toured the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History while in Albuquerque.


Both of us worked in the Nuclear Weapons Complex. We met while walking into work on a Sunday and the rest is history. We worked at the Kansas City Plant that originally was run by Bendix then Allied then Allied Signal then AlliedSignal. AlliedSignal bought Honeywell in 1999 and adopted the Honeywell name for all its holdings. It's been Honeywell ever since.

The Kansas City Plant manufactures all the nonnuclear mechanical and electrical components for the Nuclear Weapons Complex. It was neat to see the end products of what we worked on. Here is the W80.



The B83



The B61 holds special significance as both of us worked on this program, Jo as a Program Planner coordinating the manufacturing schedule and Bob as a Product/Process Engineer in printed wiring board fabrication.



The museum covers the science of nuclear energy from its theory proposed by Ernest Rutherford and Wilhelm Roentgen to the Manhattan Project which developed the first atomic bombs. They had a replica of the "Gadget" which was detonated at the Trinity Site.



Here are replicas of "Fat Man" and "Little Boy".



We always like to find and report on the neat stories. Here is one of the Packard limos that ferried the scientists up the hill to Los Alamos.



The Packards were cut in half and a 6 foot stretch was added. This car was found in a Gallup New Mexico salvage yard in 2005 and restored.

We always make jokes about the "duck and cover" exercises we did growing up, like the school desks would protect us during a nuclear explosion. It was neat to see literature on this.



The last story maybe not so neat is that when they were building the facilities near Oak Ridge Tennessee some people had to be relocated. About 3000 people got a knock on the door and were told they had to leave in 2 weeks or less. Can't imagine that happening now.

In addition to the Pioneers of the Atom, Manhattan Project and Cold War exhibits that we have discussed here the museum also has exhibits on Radiation 101, Nuclear Medicine, Atomic Culture showing all the movies related to the nuclear age, plus other exhibits.

It is a great museum and a good walk down memory lane for us.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, April 28, 2016

IT'S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL, PART 3

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 41 Partly Sunny and Breezy High 71) 

Bob recently had one of those "it's a small world" moments recently. 



He was wearing a Kansas City Royals World Series t-shirt which caught the attention of a couple checking in the RV Park while he was getting propane. As we talked about the Royals and Kansas City we mentioned our home towns. Bob recognized the home town and said he had family history there naming a couple of families. The lady had the same families, turns out her Grandmother and Bob's Grandmother were sisters so we are second cousins.

This is the second such event. The first being Bob's second cousin near Newton Iowa that received our mail forwarding by mistake that we blogged about earlier here. Turns out his grandfather and Bob's grandfather were brothers.

It truly is a small world after all, and we apologize if that song is playing in your heads right now.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

ANOTHER FOODIE STOP - LA SALITA

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 40 Sunny High 69) 

We first want to mention how glad we are that we made the trip from Windsblow to Albuquerque on Sunday. We had 50 mph gusts on Thursday and Friday while we were in Windsblow. We had great traveling weather on our trip to Windsblow on Wednesday and to Albuquerque on Sunday. The weather changed again on Monday with 60 mph gusts on the Windsblow to Albuquerque route. This kicked up a dust storm and closed some roads along the Arizona-New Mexico border. We are glad to be here and hitting some of our foodie favorites like La Salita.

La Salita has been in business since 1965 and we know why, they serve great food. They typically finish first or second best for chile rellenos and for sopapillas each year. Here is Bob's plate from a recent visit for lunch, Jo had the same thing except her sides were refried beans and rice.



Later that evening the chile rellenos passed the ultimate test. Even though the batter was soggy, when crisp it is excellent, it was still good when we had leftovers. After lunch we had sopapillas, a deep fried pastry treat, a great dessert with honey. 



Our tip is to bite one of the corners and then pour honey in and the swirl it around to distribute the honey. We haven't been there for a few years and the only change is now the sopapillas are 25 cents each instead of free but still a bargain because they are so good.

We will have more on our visit to Albuquerque in future postings.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, April 25, 2016

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO SOMEWHERE IN NEW MEXICO

But where did we end up, Gallup or Albuquerque?

Currently in Albuquerque NM (Low 43 Sunny and Windy High 75) 

We left Windsblow Arizona yesterday and drove to the KOA in Albuquerque New Mexico. 



Here is the route we took.



There were 3 things we thought about as to where to end our journey yesterday; Jo's back, cats, and weather. We wanted to make sure that Jo's back could handle the extra hours and that the cats were comfortable in the bedroom. We placed our outside temperature sensor in the bedroom and took the inside unit with us in the truck and monitored the rise in temperature. Luckily we were traveling on a cool day so that was not an issue.

No sooner had we gotten on the road yesterday when the decision was made for us. We got a high wind warning for Windsblow from one of the weather apps we have. At first we thought it was strange saying that there would be 60 mph gusts when it was calm wind wise until we realized it was for Monday. Checking the forecast for Gallup and Albuquerque we realized Monday would be another bad wind day so we pushed on. Jo's back did pretty good considering that with stops it was about 5 hours total. Certainly not a PDD type of day by any means but for us it was the most driving we have done since we started out. As we have mentioned before we now plan for 150-200 miles but when we started out it was 250-300 miles with 350 the most we have ever done towing.  

Wherever we stopped New Mexico is noteworthy on this trip because it will be our first time on Daylight Savings Time since October 31, 2014. We sprung our clocks forward one hour as Arizona was on Mountain Standard Time and did not switch to Daylight Savings Time.

Depending on the weather we think we will be here a week. After some short stays it will be nice to not be traveling all the time. Plus there are some great places to eat and some sightseeing we would like to do. We are liking the lower temps that we are now experiencing, a welcome respite from the 90s we had a few days ago in Goodyear.  


We leave you with a foodie picture. Here is the Roberto's Special from Sadie's here in Albuquerque. It is a hamburger steak smothered in queso with Papitas (diced fried potatoes) and Frijoles (beans) then smothered again with red or green chile. After we got settled Bob went and got takeout and it was sooooo good.



Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Sunday, April 24, 2016

GOOD EATS IN WINSLOW ARIZONA

Currently in Winslow AZ (Low 33 Sunny Currently 36)
Heading to either Gallup NM (Currently 29 Sunny High 67) or Albuquerque NM (Currently 46 Sunny High 72)

We survived the 50 mph wind gusts just fine. We saw travelers coming off the road and saw a few crazies head out. We like traveling too much to have a white knuckle driving day.

While here we drove into Winslow to eat breakfast at the Turquoise Room in the La Posada Hotel. All foodies should eat here at least once and all train lovers should visit here too as this was the last great Railroad Hotel built in 1929 by the Santa Fe Railway for the Fred Harvey Company. The architect, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, famous for her Grand Canyon buildings considered La Posada her masterpiece.

Our two favorite breakfast meals are here, Jo had the Corn Maiden's Delight (polenta topped with fire roasted tomatoes, spinach, poached eggs, jalapeno jack cheese and a fresh roasted corn salsa).



Bob had the Arizona Green Chile Eggs (polenta in a pool of a green chile and tomatillo sauce with eggs, covered in jalapeno jack cheese and roasted corn salsa, diced tomatoes served with a side of black beans).



After eating we know why they are our two favorite breakfast meals. After breakfast we shopped at Wal-Mart and got a prescription.

We head today for somewhere in New Mexico, to either Gallup or Albuquerque continuing our trek to the Kansas City area. As we are getting close to Gallup we will decide if our day is 143 miles or 292 miles. We will let you know what we decide.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, April 23, 2016

WINDY IN WINSLOW

Currently in Winslow AZ (Low 43 Cloudy and Increasingly Windy High 77) 

Winslow, aka Windsblow, has not let us down this trip. We got teased a little on our first day but the winds returned yesterday and is steadily getting worse. So we have decided to hang out one more day. We did make it to Windsblow yesterday and had a great meal at the Turquoise Room which we will blog about tomorrow. No trip to Windsblow is complete without 'standing on the corner'.


Forecast today calls for gusts over 50 mph, we think we might have seen a girl with her dog and a bike floating by so we think we made the right choice.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, April 22, 2016

ON THE ROAD AGAIN - TO WINSLOW ARIZONA

Currently in Winslow AZ (Low 39 Mostly Sunny High 82) 

We left Congress yesterday and drove to Meteor Crater RV Park near Winslow, Arizona. Here is the route we took.



We plan to be here a couple of nights. We like to eat at the Turquoise Room in the La Posada Hotel and we need to get a prescription at Walmart. Traveling and getting medications these days is becoming more and more challenging. Did we think it would if we got bureaucrats involved in our healthcare?

Here is a photo of the La Posada Hotel from an earlier visit.



Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, April 21, 2016

FIRST TRIP WAS A SHORT ONE

Currently in Congress AZ (Low 55 Mostly Sunny Currently 64) 
Heading to Winslow AZ (Currently 45 Sunny High 83)

Well we made it, we left the spot we have been since November 2014. It was a short trip (about 60 miles) to Congress Arizona and Escapees North Ranch. 



Here is the route we took.



We are here to get our Lifestyle LS38RS and Ford F-350 weighed at Escapees SmartWeigh. Bob was worried when the sticker that was put on when the Lifestyle was built listed about one thousand pounds less for cargo carrying capacity than the brochure.

The results of the weighing are that both the truck and RV need to go on a diet and we need to move some of the weight from one side to the other. The great news is that we won't need an expensive upgrade to the axles and tires that Bob thought we might need. We will shed some pounds and move things around this summer and get it reweighed when we are back in the area in November. We plan a more detailed blog entry on this in the future.

We leave today continuing our trek first to Kansas City for about a month and then to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a couple of months. Should be an interesting summer, we will keep you posted.

We are only staying one night since the park has 30a electrical and it is hot enough to be a little uncomfortable without the second air conditioner. As we mentioned before 30a electrical is what we consider camping. 

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, April 15, 2016

GETTING READY TO LEAVE

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 55 Sunny High 75) 

We have to admit we are a little nervous as our departure date from the valley of the sun approaches. Except for a couple of 'vacations' from the heat



we have been in Goodyear for almost a year and a half and we are so looking forward to getting out of here. Yes you can fry an egg on the sidewalk here during the summer. There were a couple of movies that we wanted to see before we left. First we saw 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2' and we really liked it.


They brought back the cast from the first one which was nice. If you liked the first one then you will like this one. Another movie that if you liked the first one you will like the second one is 'God is Not Dead 2'.


Be sure and stick around to after the credits for some bonus material. A good laugh and an uplifting spiritual film, who could ask for two better movies.

We also have been eating at some of our favorite restaurants one last time.

There is of course shopping for the travels but we are shopping like we won't have any places to shop along the way. We are sure once we get on the road and back into the routine of traveling again it will be OK. And yes there will be shopping along the way. Our summer plans call for us to be in the Kansas City area for about a month and then two months on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

OTHER BLOGGERS INSPIRE US - SPIEDIE EDITION

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 40 Partly Sunny High 69) 

One of the bloggers that we follow is Judy who travels with her dog Emma at their blog Travels With Emma. Judy, aka the Bird Lady of Blogland, wrote one time about the Spiedie chicken she used to have. Spiedie is a marinade that she made for a Spiedie fest with her brother. Well look what I found in Frys grocery store the other day.



I am sure it is not as good as what Judy makes but it sure was convenient for us since it is an all purpose marinade. We split a fresh chicken and marinaded it and it was real good. We then tried it on ribeye with a little Montreal Steak Seasoning thrown in and it was also good on steak. It is low in calories, sugar so no carbs and it is gluten free so it hits all the bases.

Thank you Judy,  you inspire us with your life, cooking, photography skills and especially your knowledge of birds.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

SAW SOME MOVIES

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 48 Partly Cloudy High 69) 

While Jo is recovering from her neurostimulator surgery we have not done much but we have been able to see a few movies. "Miracles from Heaven" tells the remarkable true story of healing of a little girl.




Starring Jennifer Garner as the mother of the little girl with an incurable deadly illness. We highly recommend this movie but you better bring along some kleenex because you will need quite a few, or at least Bob did. 

We also saw "Risen" which tells the story of the Roman Tribune sent by Pontius Pilate to find the body of Jesus that has disappeared.



Starring Ralph Fiennes as the Clavius the Tribune who searches high and low encountering the Apostles and other Jews in his search providing a different take on the Resurrection. "Miracles from Heaven" and "Risen" are more examples of better faith based movies that are being offered and we like the trend.

For a change of pace we saw "London has Fallen".



Starring Gerard Butler has a Secret Service agent in charge of protecting the President of the United States during a massive terror attack while in London. The special effects and action in this movie are amazing. We have to caution that the F word is used a few times but unlike other movies that curse all the time the use of the F word was most of the time somewhat appropriate and we liked this  movie too. 

Jo is getting the neurostimulator adjusted today so hopefully it will begin to provide the relief that she is looking for.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, March 17, 2016

BEST TIME OF THE YEAR - MARCH MADNESS

Goodyear AZ (Low 50 Sunny High 88) 

It's that time of year again, March Madness, NCAA Men's Basketball Tourneys. Bob will be camped out in the recliner beginning today. All games are live but Thursday and Friday are the best days because there can sometimes be 4 games on at a time.




The nice thing about being in the valley of the sun is that we are not on daylight savings time so our time matches Pacific Daylight time. What that means is that the games start earlier at 9a and thusly end earlier.

Bob will do it all today, 16 men's games, and then again tomorrow with another 16 games! Jo will be using the Genie mini client and watching her shows, reading books, visiting friends, etc. She is a trooper to put up with Bob at this time of year, heck all of the year :-)

With 13-14 hours of basketball each day we will fall a little further behind in our blog reading and commenting :-)

Till next time,

Bob & Jo

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

UPDATE ON JO

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 55 Mostly Sunny High 88) 

A quick update on Jo. She had the neurostimulator surgery last Friday.



She had a rough weekend but she is slowly getting better each day. Within limits the surgeon told her she could do as much as she felt like doing. The limits are that she cannot bend or reach for a few weeks. This is to allow the leads in her back to heal with scar tissue and the two incisions to also heal. That means for the near future Bob is her personal assistant and valet. We are planning on going to the Royal's first Spring Training game tomorrow but don't know how long she will last. There will be a pregame ceremony where the trophy is displayed.



It will be good to get her out but the BWE is in full effect. Normal temperatures this time of the year are about 72. The BWE is on the positive side with 16-20 degrees above normal.



It has been that way for awhile with numerous records set in February including the earliest 90 degree day.

We will let you know the Royals game went and how her follow-up with the surgeon goes on Thursday in a later posting.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, February 8, 2016

PICK A FORECAST

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 46 Sunny and Warm High 83) 

Shall we play a game? We know this is mean, but!

We suffered through the summer in the Valley of the Sun and first had 100 degrees on May 1st. Our last 100 degree day was October 14th. In between we had 106 days where it was 100 degrees or higher. One day we hit 117 which is one of the hottest days ever here. All the while we heard how much cooler it was in other parts of the country. So here it is, payback!

The game is called "Pick A Forecast".

How about Minneapolis?



Perry, Iowa?



Pella, Iowa?



Overland Park, KS?



Or where we are, the Phoenix area?



Hope you enjoyed the game. We are enjoying the weather but it is a little early in the winter to be having 80s. Who knows, we may have to run the air conditioner today :-)

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, January 30, 2016

WE'VE SCHEDULED THE NEUROSTIMULATOR IMPLANT SURGERY

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 40 Sunny High 74) 

After her followup appointment for the test and then living a few days without the neurostimulator Jo has decided to have the device implanted.



As with all health care scheduling here in the Valley of the Sun the earliest she could get this done was the end of February and that was only because of a cancellation. There is then a 6-8 week period for the leads near the spine to heal properly, basically build up enough scar tissue so they won't move. Then we will be free to travel.

Whenever a date range is offered we always plan on the maximum which puts us leaving mid to late April. Whenever we leave we still plan on being in the Kansas City area in early May and being there for a month or so. 

Here's hoping that April is unseasonably cool.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, January 28, 2016

WEATHERTECH LINERS UPDATE

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 38 Sunny High 72) 

We blogged when we recently purchased Weather Tech liners for our Ford F-350 here, Weather Tech Liners 

When we bought the liners we bought the cleaner and protector specifically for them.


 

We forgot to take a before picture but the cleaner and protector did an amazing job and they looked as good as when we got them.



Thanks to Paul and Margery from Living Our Dream for getting them first which we then researched and decided to buy. We are very happy with these liners.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Friday, January 22, 2016

UPDATE ON JO

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 40 Sunny High 69) 

After spending the summer here so Jo could get the nerves in her neck cauterized, which has provided some relief, she is now getting treatment on her lower back. It was determined that cauterization may not be the best option so she is currently in the screening trial for 'Neurostimulation Therapy for Chronic Pain'.

During the screening trial wire leads are placed in the epidural space near Jo's spine.



The neurostimulator, about the size of a stopwatch, which is normally implanted, is taped to her back since this is a trial. We were very concerned about this since Jo has a severe tape allergy so the Pain Center had her try different tapes and spraying antihistamine spray on the skin. This worked for a couple different tapes. 

Small electrical currents through the leads to the spine area disrupts the pain signals from the spinal cord to the brain, effectively tricking the brain that there is no pain. This was done Monday and she has a followup appointment today to remove the leads and discuss the trial.

Unfortunately they may not have prepped her well enough to prevent her tape allergy problems which may have caused additional pain messing with the results. There has been a learning curve on usage of the device so while there was some pain relief in an area it sometimes caused discomfort in other areas. Sleeping was a big issue since the device and all the wires were taped to her lower back.

With this mixed bag of results we are hoping she doesn't have to make a decision today. We will keep you posted.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, January 2, 2016

BACK TO OUR WINTER LOCATION

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 38 Mostly Clear High 70) 

We left Tonopah Arizona for our short trip (30 miles) back to Goodyear, our usual winter stop. We will be here until April. We enjoyed our one month in Tonopah at Saddle Mountain RV Park but are happy to be here in familiar surroundings especially our grapefruit tree just outside our front door.




It did kinda feel like home as we were pulling in. Plus we are 30 miles closer to all our medical appointments. We setup the hummingbird feeder on the back window and in no time we had hummingbirds.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

HUMMINGBIRDS

Currently in Tonopah AZ (Low 27 Sunny High 62) 

We were surprised when we were setting up here at Saddle Mountain RV Park that a hummingbird flew into the truck while the door was open. This encouraged us to get a feeder that we could suction cup to our back window. We got some great shots.





We even had some woodpeckers decide the feeder might be to their liking. Here is one eyeing the feeder.





Then trying to feed.




The hummingbirds did not appreciate the interlopers.




The cats liked the activity, we did too.




Till next time,

Bob and Jo